Sergeant Larry Wayne Russell & Officer Anthony Lee Mims
On Friday, January 2, 2004, two of Athens’ Police department were shot and killed when they were ambushed while responding to a call.
The suspect, who was intoxicated and had a history of mental illness, had called police at approximately 1245 hours and asked to speak with FBI agents. The suspect then called back minutes later and asked for the police if there were no FBI agents available. When the officers arrived at the scene, they were ambushed and shot several times.
The suspect opened fire on Officer Mims when he arrived at the scene, shooting him several times through the windshield of his patrol car. Sergeant Russell then arrived at the scene, and was shot as he attempted to exit his patrol car. Sergeant Russell was flown to a local hospital where he succumbed to his wounds a short time later.
The suspect surrendered at the scene and was taken into custody. He was charged with six counts of capital murder. On July 26th, 2007, he plead guilty to five counts of capital murder and two counts of shooting into an occupied vehicle. He was sentenced to life without parole.
On August 13, 2007, the suspect was found unconscious in his cell and rushed to a hospital where he died a week later. The autopsy report stated that he died from complications of bronchopneumonia.
Sergeant Russell had served with the Athens Police Department for 19 years, and is survived by his wife and five children.
Officers Mims had served with the Athens Police Department for 15 years, and is survived by his wife, four children, and one grandchild.